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Nimue (Nimue)
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Username: Nimue

Post Number: 4848
Registered: 8-2001
Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 10:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As a teacher, I often used to make a remark that I thought would please students, until I realized, as I should have all along, that it was apt to have the opposite effect. Many other teachers also make this mistake. What is it?
Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Post Number: 1276
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 9:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were you alluding to some quality of the students? Of yourself/teachers in general?

Were the students likely to feel offended? ridiculized? stupid?
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 711
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 4:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would the students infer something about their grades? About the difficulty of the class? About your opinion of them? About their futures?

Is it something you say about the material being studied? About other classes you have had?
Quovynyte (Quovynyte)
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Post Number: 209
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 5:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the remark a question?
A statement?

Please students? Make them feel proud? Exited?
How many years have you made this mistake? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 50, 60?
Is it about an event?
When did you realize that it didn't please students?
Did they tell you?
Did you tell by their behaviour?
By an event?

Subject you teach relevant?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4851
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Posted on Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alhucema (Alhucema)
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Post Number: 1276
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Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 9:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Were you alluding to some quality of the students? yes Of yourself/teachers in general? no

Were the students likely to feel offended? noridiculized? no stupid? yesish
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 711
Registered: 10-2008

Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Would the students infer something about their grades? yes About the difficulty of the class? yesAbout your opinion of them? yesAbout their futurespossibly

Is it something you say about the material being studied? noish About other classes you have had? no
Quovynyte (Quovynyte)
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Username: Quovynyte

Post Number: 209
Registered: 6-2009

Posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 - 5:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Was the remark a question? no
A statement? yes

Please students? Make them feel proud? noExited? possibly
How many years have you made this mistake? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 50, 60? probably about 3
Is it about an event? yes
When did you realize that it didn't please students? Right before I stopped saying it
Did they tell you? no
Did you tell by their behaviour? no
By an event? no

Subject you teach relevant? no
Rushiano (Rushiano)
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Username: Rushiano

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2009
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 1:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You teach philosophy?
Are this students adults, would you say the same to children?
You said this with the intention of encourageing them to study harder?
Was this remark a lie?
Did you say it after or before the exams?
Was this remark an order? yet they behaved as they were not supposed to
Does a majority pass(approve) your course? Are they certain of this beforehand?
Was this remark a reccomendation?
Was this remark the description of something that usually "happened" with other courses you taught?
Sugarshane (Sugarshane)
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Username: Sugarshane

Post Number: 231
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 3:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did you say something like "you only get what you put into it?" did you say this throughout the semister? or just at the first of the semister? at the end? would you say it to the whole class? or just individuals? was there something obvious that made you realize that your students didn't like what you were saying?
Quovynyte (Quovynyte)
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Post Number: 224
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 4:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the event ... Historically related? School related?

Did you say it more than once?

Would you be pleased at this remark?
Were they not pleased because of...
Age?
Gender?
Religion?
Nationality?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Username: Nimue

Post Number: 4853
Registered: 8-2001
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sugarshane (Sugarshane)
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Post Number: 231
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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 3:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
did you say something like "you only get what you put into it?" Eeek, no. I Hope I don't say anything that cliched (although I probably do.)did you say this throughout the semester? There were particular occasions, occurring more than once per semester, when I might have said it or just at the first of the semister? neverat the end? possiblywould you say it to the whole class? yesor just individuals? was there something obvious that made you realize that your students didn't like what you were saying? yesish or yope
Quovynyte (Quovynyte)
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Post Number: 224
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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 4:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Was the event ... Historically related? noSchool related? yes|

Did you say it more than once? in some classes I said it more than once

Would you be pleased at this remark?
Were they not pleased because of...
Age? no
Gender? no
Religion? no
Nationality? no
Noel (Noel)
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Username: Noel

Post Number: 901
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are exams relevant? Written assignments? Other assignments?

Are your expectations of students relevant? Did you say "you all did better than I expected"? Meaning it as a compliment? But they took it that you had low expectations of them?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4855
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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 8:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Noel (Noel)
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Post Number: 901
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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Are exams relevant? yes Written assignments? yesOther assignments? no

Are your expectations of students relevant? noDid you say "you all did better than I expected"? no, but you're ORTMeaning it as a compliment? no But they took it that you had low expectations of them? no
Wefigure (Wefigure)
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Post Number: 27
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 11:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you say something like: "Don't worry about grades,"and as a result, they figured they didn't have to study very hard to get a good grade?
Noel (Noel)
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Post Number: 905
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 12:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it something about how easy the test or assignment is? Something like "don't worry, you should all be able to do well on this"?
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 12:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the students' effort relevant?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4856
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 9:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wefigure (Wefigure)
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Post Number: 27
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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 11:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Did you say something like: "Don't worry about grades,"and as a result, they figured they didn't have to study very hard to get a good grade? no
Noel (Noel)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 12:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Is it something about how easy the test or assignment is? no but you're ORT Something like "don't worry, you should all be able to do well on this"? no
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Post Number: 1605
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 12:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Is the students' effort relevant?no
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Post Number: 205
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 5:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you compare the students to someone? Yourself? Students who had previously taken the test? Something like "when I was a student..." relevant?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4857
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Post Number: 205
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 5:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Did you compare the students to someone? yesishYourself? noStudents who had previously taken the test? noSomething like "when I was a student..." relevant? no
Noel (Noel)
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Post Number: 922
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you compare the students to themselves at a different point in time? Are improvements from one test or assignment to another relevant?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4858
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 9:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Noel (Noel)
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Post Number: 922
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 7:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Did you compare the students to themselves at a different point in time?no Are improvements from one test or assignment to another relevant? no
Markobr (Markobr)
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Post Number: 403
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 12:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you say something about grades? Criteria for grading? About passing the test? Failing? Other students than those present?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4859
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 2:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Markobr (Markobr)
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Post Number: 403
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Did you say something about grades?yes}Criteria for grading? no About passing the test? yopeFailing? yope Other students than those present? no
Probably_monty_hall (Probably_monty_hall)
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 2:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are these students "special" in any way? Special needs? Gifted? relevant?

Did your statement relate at all to the (potential? likelihood?) of grade inflation or grading on a curve?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4860
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 4:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Probably_monty_hall (Probably_monty_hall)
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Post Number: 14
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 2:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Are these students "special" in any way? noSpecial needs? Do you mean disabled? noGifted? relevant?

Did your statement relate at all to the (potential? likelihood?) of grade inflation no or grading on a curve? no but you're ORT
Markobr (Markobr)
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Post Number: 411
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 4:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you usually make the remark

- when announcing a test will take place?
- at the day of a test before it actually started?
- during a test?
- at the day of a test after it finished?
- later after a test but before you know the test results?
- when you know the results but before the students get to know their grades?
- when the students already know their grades?

Is the remark about all or most students passing the test? getting good grades?
Probably_monty_hall (Probably_monty_hall)
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 5:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you initially think that students would infer:
- that they would get good grades? or had gotten good grades?
- that the class would not be difficult?
- that you held a high opinion of them?
- that they had promising futures?

In reality, did the exact opposite happen (to each of the above statements)?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Post Number: 4862
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 5:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Markobr (Markobr)
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Post Number: 411
Registered: 5-2009

Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Did you usually make the remark

- when announcing a test will take place? no
- at the day of a test before it actually started? no
- during a test? no
- at the day of a test after it finished? no
- later after a test but before you know the test results? no
- when you know the results but before the students get to know their grades? possibly
- when the students already know their grades? possibly

Is the remark about all or most students passing the test? see next answer getting good grades? yes! Now, it's not hard to see why it's not a great idea to volunteer that information, is it? Say why & you've solved the puzzle!
Noel (Noel)
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Username: Noel

Post Number: 948
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 5:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Because it makes the students who didn't do well feel bad? Because it makes the students who did get good grades thing that it's not a big deal because everyone else did too?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Username: Nimue

Post Number: 4864
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 10:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Noel (Noel)
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Username: Noel

Post Number: 948
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 5:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Because it makes the students who didn't do well feel bad? yes Because it makes the students who did get good grades thing that it's not a big deal because everyone else did too? yes

*****SPOILER ************
Did you ever have a teacher return exams & say brightly, "In general, the class did very well on this test." No doubt he felt benevolent, but I bet you felt bad. If you did well, I bet you thought it was no big deal, since the test must have been easy. If you did badly, I bet you felt stupid at having done badly on such an easy test. No student ever said this to me, but when I thought of it, I knew what not to say when returning exams.I also know what to say when spoiling puzzles: Please check out my new one at the bottom of the page!
Noel (Noel)
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Username: Noel

Post Number: 961
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Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 10:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmm, I've never thought of that, either. I am certainly guilty of saying it when I've handed back tests, and probably most teachers I had did the same thing. So now that you've realized it, what do you say instead (in circumstances when they really have done well collectively)?
Nimue (Nimue)
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Username: Nimue

Post Number: 4866
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Posted on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't volunteer any information. If asked, I give accurate information about the grade distribution.
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 732
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 4:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a professor who intentionally uses this effect to guilt-trip students into studying. As in, "Well, you'll be pleased to know the class average was very high. So if you failed, you must really have not studied at all."

Good puzzle!

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